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opinions on bass rigs


prettynoose88

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I am getting ready to purchase a new bass setup and have some questions that hopefully someone who is more knowledgable than me can answer. I play boh a 4 and 5 string bass, but mostly a 5 string. I am into slapping alot in my band also. I would like to have something that will cover any gig within reason. I am thinking about getting 4 10s and a 15, or an ashdown cabinet with 2 10s and a 15 combined. I am also thinking of getting an Ashdown abm 500 head. Anyone's help would be greatly appreciated.
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Sure we can help. But we'll need more info (you gave us a good start with the slap thing).

 

What do you like about Ashdown? What else are you comparing it to?

 

When you say "any gig within reason", I'm assuming large bars and small concert venues. If you are doing stadiums, you have to rethink the whole thing....

 

I like the Ashdowns I've played, though I've been testing the heads more than the speakers.

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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The Ashdown amp looks pretty interesting, the built-in suboctave could be very cool! I've never heard it though.

 

A good amp, 4x10 cab and a 1x15 cab are pretty much standard stuff nowadays. This type rig can handle just about any style of music, and produce enough clean volume to fill a hall if needed. The 4x10 provides clarity and punch, and the 1x15 gives you that big bottom. In addition, it's fairly easy to move such a rig as each component is relatively compact.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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I've liked all the Ashdown heads I've played. They really sound good and offer nice tone-shaping capability. I also think they look cool!

 

4x10 and 1x15 would be plenty o' bass goodness. Even a 2x10 and 1x15 would probably do very nicely for you.

 

Definitely make sure, if you haven't already, that you play a bunch of heads and cabs and feel free to mix and match. At the very least, this will contribute to your confidence in going w/ Ashdown.

 

Welcome to the board!

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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You can never go wrong with a 4x10 and 1x15. What I would look for is a head or preamp that gives you a good strong clean tone. No matter how big the venue, you always have that DI that will give you your tone through the PA. I play a 4x10 and 1x15 now but I'm swiching to 2 4x10's. If you like slapping like I do, the 4x10 cabs will give you that extra punch and crisp pops that your looking for. My 1x15 rocks when I'm fingering notes but dosen't provide the punch when slapping. You may even want to look into a 4x10 and 2x12. A 2x12 is comparable to a 1x15 in freq. response but is faster acting, punchier, and louder. Just some things to thing about. Good luck.
I didn't come here to play. I came here to make babies.
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Originally posted by orphan wells:

You can never go wrong with a 4x10 and 1x15. .

...until you have to carry them up a flight of stairs. The 1x15 should be OK, but I'd consider a 2x10. Of course I'm a 12 guy through and through...

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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If you play 5 string and slap a lot (hey, brother so do I), I would encourage you to take a leaf out of Fleas book and try 2x15 and a 2x10 with horn cabs.

 

I like 2x10 cabinets because they sound very clean and are not boomy at all, get a high quality 400watt 2x10 with a good quality horn tweeter and attenuator. It's incredible the difference a good quality horn driver make to your overall sound on a loud stage.

 

Team this with 2 single 400 watt 15 cabs in this config as its much more versatile and portable. I have owned several 4x10 cabinets and have found they roll off pretty dramatically down past low E and can sound quite honky in the 300 to 500 herz region, though for 4 strings plyers 2 4x10's or 8x10s can sound sensational. I also don't believe that one 15 does half the job of two, in either tone or headroom.

 

If you play in a band with guitar loud guitarists using Marshall stacks you will appreciate being the only player on the stage with the grunt to overcome that cabinet thump in the low mids that will annihilate a lot of bass sounds.

 

The beauty of this setup is that you can take any combination of cabinets to gig or rehearse with as required, and for really big shows where you need it, you can run in biamp mode which will give you massive headroom.

 

As for amplifiers, anything less than about 400 watts (solid state) is normally designed for cabaret/jazz or in the cheaper category entry level players, if your playing rock get as much power as you can afford.

 

I personally love Mesa Boogie gear but Ampeg, David Eden, SWR and Warwick (to mention but a few) produce really good sounding bass gear. As different from about 10 years ago there's so many good quality high powered bass heads to choose from that trial and error should lead you to the rig of your dreams.

 

Happy Hunting.

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Originally posted by Tom Capasso:

Originally posted by orphan wells:

You can never go wrong with a 4x10 and 1x15. .

...until you have to carry them up a flight of stairs. The 1x15 should be OK, but I'd consider a 2x10.

 

Tom

Yep. And besides, if your rig ends up going direct to board, then a 2x10 with a 1x15 should work. A 2x10 should be a little easier to mic, as it's sound field is smaller.

 

I'd use a 2x10 with a horn and an amp for it, if you already have a decent combo like my TNT 115. I'd yield about 250 watts total. Of course, you'll need an amp with a crossover circuit built in. Sure, this may not seem like a whole lot of power, but it's still enough to cause tinnitus (loud ringing in the ears) after about 20-30 minutes at high volume. Don't forget the earplugs if you're really gonna crank it up. :)

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A 4x10 is neither extremely heavy, nor overly bulky. Any healthy young or middle-aged guy oughta be able to get one up & down a flight of stairs without much difficulty.

 

Originally posted by Tom Capasso:

...until you have to carry them up a flight of stairs. The 1x15 should be OK, but I'd consider a 2x10. Of course I'm a 12 guy through and through...

Tom

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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The average 4x10 is probably 24"x24"x16" (or so) and weighs in the n'hood of 95 lbs. Yes, coyote, the average young or middle-aged guy should be able to carry one up a flight of stairs.

 

I'm a healthy guy in good shape. I could do it...and not carry anything else (except maybe a gig bag over my shoulder), and hope that it's a reasonably wide flight of stairs.

 

Then I'd have to go back for my 1x15 -- probably 60 lbs. and maybe 22"x20"x16" (and maybe a soft rackcase over my shoulder).

 

Screw that.

 

Just because it's possible, doesn't mean I should want to do it. I think if the sound of a 4x10 and 1x15 is what you want (or two 4x10s), you should go for it...because it's a great sound. for example, Pernax is using two 4x10s with great joy and great results.

 

FWIW, I used to have a 4x10. It used to live in the basement of my home. I needed to carry it up a flight of stairs anytime I needed it outside of my home. I learned that it was a real pain in the ass (and the back, shoulders, hands...).

 

So...my $0.02 is that it's a great set-up, but you can't deny that it would be a load to haul around -- which is okay if you're willing or you know you'll have friends to help. Most importantly, let the sound you want be the driving force in your decision making.

 

Peace.

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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That is exactly my point - to sacrifice your sound to save a few lbs is kinda silly. If folks can get the sound they want from a 2x10, then very cool! I like the extra 'body' given to the sound by the cabinet of the 4x10, and I'm willing to do the little bit of extra lifting to get it. Then again, I'm dopey enough to haul a Hammond organ around....

 

Originally posted by Sweet Willie:

So...my $0.02 is that it's a great set-up, but you can't deny that it would be a load to haul around -- which is okay if you're willing or you know you'll have friends to help. Most importantly, let the sound you want be the driving force in your decision making.

 

Peace.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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I played through a really nice Ampeg 4x10 cab that was backlined at a club here in Philly a few weeks ago... I was suprised at how light it was when I moved it (it was on the wrong side of the stage for me), and even more suprised at the amount of booty it had. I wound up liking it a lot. These cabs have a built-in handle on the top and rear "dolly-like" wheels for easier transporting... and they have those spring-loaded handles on the sides, too. Really nice cabs.

 

Got me thinking about a 6x10 Ampeg and what THAT sucker might do for me... I think I'd miss the extra boo-tay of my 1x15 cab, but I'm not sure... those 10" speakers have a lotta kick.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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Originally posted by CMDN:

Got me thinking about a 6x10 Ampeg and what THAT sucker might do for me... I think I'd miss the extra boo-tay of my 1x15 cab, but I'm not sure... those 10" speakers have a lotta kick.

Sounds like a good excuse to make a trip to the music store to kill some time and make some Ampeg speakers thump! :thu::D

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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A 4 x 10" is ruled out for me because of back trouble. It was moving a 4 x 10" that gave me the problem. I'm over 6 feet, and I thought it beneath my dignity to accept a hand moving my cab. One day I was putting it in the back seat of my car I got my back at the wrong angle, and click. I was severely incapacitated for around 6 months and my back has never fully recovered. There are all sorts of everyday things involving lifting and bending that it's now just too risky for me to do.

 

I recognise some of the macho attitudes above because I used to share them. I also think they are stupid, something I had to learn the hard way.

As Bismarck said, a fool learns by his mistakes, a wise man from the mistakes of others.

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Got me thinking about a 6x10 Ampeg and what THAT sucker might do for me... I think I'd miss the extra boo-tay of my 1x15 cab, but I'm not sure... those 10" speakers have a lotta kick.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Sounds like a good excuse to make a trip to the music store to kill some time and make some Ampeg speakers thump!

I did that this past weekend... Tried the SVT 4 Pro (the rack-mounted one - 1200 watts!) through one of those 6x10 cabs.

 

Not too shabby, my friend, lemme tellya. Ka-POW!

 

But I have to do a real comparison test with my rig to see what the REAL difference is... I mean, besides overall wattage, I wanna see how they compare.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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Originally posted by CMDN:

Tried the SVT 4 Pro (the rack-mounted one - 1200 watts!) through one of those 6x10 cabs.

 

Not too shabby, my friend, lemme tellya. Ka-POW!

 

..."lemme tellya" or did Lemmy tell ya'... :D

 

(Erik, I posted a special Lemmy link in the Ric thread that you would probably enjoy... here\'s the thread . It's after all my maniacal sociology b.s.)

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Yep.. I just posted on there.

 

BTW, I like those Rickenbacker basses, but I've never really played one myself.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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Moving half one's weight is macho?? I guess if one isn't careful about one's lifting technique, it could be dangerous. From watching others hurt themselves, I've learned to be sure to lift correctly.

 

Originally posted by bc:

I recognise some of the macho attitudes above because I used to share them. I also think they are stupid, something I had to learn the hard way.

As Bismarck said, a fool learns by his mistakes, a wise man from the mistakes of others.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Sorry coyote - I don't see it. I haven't heard the huge rig that I like any better than the smaller cabs. And at 48 I long ago gave up any expectations about what I have to do with my body. If you work out, take care of yourself, and want those expectations for yourself - God bless. I've had back spasm trouble for 25 years, and any recurrence means lost work and lost pay. It's not worth the trouble. Even for a B3...

 

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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I'm in shape. I'm relatively young. I lift 3 times a week.

 

Just because I CAN lift a 4x10" cabinet doesn't mean I should. I can stick my tongue (I know, this is a family show) in an electrical socket and survive, but it doesn't mean I'm going to do it.

 

Extensive discussion on big rigs:

 

http://www.musicplayer.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=5;t=005121

 

Why a 4x10" instead of two 2x10" cabinets? Much more flexible. What venue needs a 4x10" AND a 1x15"? Who's playing the arena rock on the forum? Let me know when you get to Madison Square Garden, I'll stop by.

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Don't get me wrong here. I'm not saying everyone should have the full stack for every little coffeehouse gig. For those, a Hartke tiltback or other combo works just fine (and in fact, my BX100 by itself would be great for those gigs).

 

But speaker type and placement have a fairly large effect on sound. Just last week I was in a music store when one of the employees was plugging different cabs into a Marshall amp to determine which one he was gonna buy. He had a 4x12 on another 4x12, and a 2x12 on the floor. He thought the 2x12 sounded much better, that it had more bottom than the 2x12. I told him to put the 4x12 on the floor so he'd get a more accurate comparison. At the same volume from the same amp, the 4x12 suddenly sounded much better! He then put the 2x12 atop the 4x12, and plugged both into the amp. Suddenly, at exactly the same amp settings as before, he was getting absolute magic; he had the fat bottom of the 4x12 interacting with the floor AND the sharpness of the 2x12 up in his face. Now he could even drop the volume on the amp, and get the fullness he'd been after. He ended up getting both cabs....

 

A 4x10/1x15 rig ain't all that big, often less than 5ft tall. It fits in the back seat of almost any small sedan. But it's more about tone than sheer volume. My BX100 (with its 15") sounds much better with the 4x10 added. Every fusion & smooth jazz band that comes to my local small arts theater has a full bass stack. They ain't crankin' out Motley Crue; they have it for the tone.

 

So my point is that it might make a diff in your tone (or not, that's entirely up to you). And if it does, moving a little extra weight is worth the effort in my opinion. But do be smart about it - a fold-up handtruck or dolly is a smart investment.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Hmm... I think these big-rigs are just ignorance. 4x10" and a 1x15" for tone is ridiculous, especially at venues where the bass is being carried through the mains.

 

A 4x10" on top a a 1x15" is excessive. A 2x10" or a 1x12" seems a lot more reasonable, if necessary.

 

I was at the Lion's Den in the Village last night, and the backline there is ridiculous; 1x18" below a 4x10" powered by an older SWR head. LOUD. Too loud for the stage volume, if you ask me, especially considering that club has a fantastic PA.

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So why own an amp at all, except for practice? If it's going thru the PA, just get a direct box and be done with it. You'll hear yourself via the monitors. A Hartke Kickback 12 is therefore all any bassist ever needs, and it needn't be brought to the gig.

 

Originally posted by getz76:

Hmm... I think these big-rigs are just ignorance. 4x10" and a 1x15" for tone is ridiculous, especially at venues where the bass is being carried through the mains.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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Originally posted by coyote:

So why own an amp at all, except for practice? If it's going thru the PA, just get a direct box and be done with it. You'll hear yourself via the monitors. A Hartke Kickback 12 is therefore all any bassist ever needs, and it needn't be brought to the gig.

You won't get much of an argument out of me on that idea. I do like to have some control of my stage monitoring, but a 2x10" is usually sufficient.
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whenever I play a gig with my metal band i have to have my 4x10 and 1x15. I need the stage volume so everyone on stage can hear me. I have never played a rock gig or metal gig where just the stage moniters were enough. Usually we get stuck with 3 moniters with 12's and horns. that's just not going to cut it when it comes to carrying my bass. the main reason i have my "big rig" is to compensate for insufficent PA's. I don't want to compromise our sound and performance just because I'm too lazy to carry around a few cabs. I can never trust the sound guy or the PA. I've been screwed too many times. I know that we all play different kinds of gigs in the forum but when I play balls out rock I come with the thunder.
I didn't come here to play. I came here to make babies.
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If you knew you were always going to play somewhere with a fantastic PA (or bring your own) and a personal monitor mix, then you would only need a DI.

 

Unfortunatly, for me anyway, that is not always the case. The funk band generally uses our PA. It's good. The In - Ear mix is good. I still get asked to have a stage cab as the guys like to "feel the bass" on stage. I went DI with no stage cab for a while and I liked it.

 

If the jazz quartet plays, we don't always use a PA. If we do, it is a small one with no subs, basically for the solo horn, maybe some keys reinforcemant. I need a good sounding and fairly powerful rig.

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Originally posted by orphan wells:

Usually we get stuck with 3 moniters with 12's and horns. that's just not going to cut it when it comes to carrying my bass. the main reason i have my "big rig" is to compensate for insufficent PA's.

Out of curiosity, what are your bandmates playing through (guitarists?)? Also, does your drummer really pound the skins, or does he have technique? How big is the venue you're playing?

 

I used to be in the same situation, with a guitarist with a 100-watt Marshal and a drummer who convinced me he was trying to actually BREAK his skins. Not fun. Even metal can be done at reasonable volumes.

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Why do you think "pounding the skins" and technique are mutually exclusive? There are a fair number of drummers (my current band's drummer among them) who excel in both categories.

 

'Reasonable' volume is entirely subjective. When you are playing in a club (say, the old Lamour in Brooklyn) that holds hundreds of people, it is OK to crank it up. It IS fun!!! Man, when that sound envelops you and the guitar gets feedback-sustain going and the drums are thundering and the crowd is digging it, it's a phenomenal experience. If you don't share that feeling it's OK - but I also submit that you really don't dig metal if you don't like it loud. All the great heavy rock bands, from Cream, Hendrix, and DeepPurple to Metallica & Tool, have had very high stage volume. It doesn't work in the local sports pub - but it sure as heck works in a rock club or on any large stage.

 

Originally posted by getz76:

Out of curiosity, what are your bandmates playing through (guitarists?)? Also, does your drummer really pound the skins, or does he have technique? How big is the venue you're playing?

 

I used to be in the same situation, with a guitarist with a 100-watt Marshal and a drummer who convinced me he was trying to actually BREAK his skins. Not fun. Even metal can be done at reasonable volumes.

I used to think I was Libertarian. Until I saw their platform; now I know I'm no more Libertarian than I am RepubliCrat or neoCON or Liberal or Socialist.

 

This ain't no track meet; this is football.

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